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Abu Dhabi oil firms stand ‘good chance’ of winning renewals


United Arab Emirates Energy Minister Suhail Mohammed Al Mazrouei. Photo - Bloomberg

Paris: The largest US and European oil companies have a "good chance" of winning renewals for Abu Dhabi crude-oil concessions, according to United Arab Emirates Energy Minister Suhail Mohammed Al Mazrouei.

"Unless they aren't aggressive in giving us value, I think they will have a very good chance," the minister told reporters at an oil conference in Paris. "They are the best in understanding the field because they have been there for 70 years and we hope they will be among the winners."

Exxon Mobil, BP, Royal Dutch Shell and Total lost their rights as shareholders in the company operating Abu Dhabi's onshore oil fields after their joint venture expired at the start of the year.

The expired partnership between the international companies and state-run Abu Dhabi National Oil Co., or Adnoc, accounted for about 1.5 million barrels a day of Murban crude, the UAE's main blend.

Adnoc took full control of the unit operating the fields while completing a bidding process to award new concessions.

The minister didn't give a timeframe for when a decision would be reached.

"No one is guaranteed a seat," he said. "It's a bidding. We wish everyone good luck, especially our legacy partners."

The end of an accord accounting for more than half of the output from Opec's fourth-largest supplier weakened at least temporarily the role of international companies in the group as member nations seek to retain more oil wealth.

Abu Dhabi holds most of the reserves in the UAE, which pumped 2.8 million barrels a day in March, or 9.3 per cent of oil supplied by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, according to data from the International Energy Agency.

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